This next organization is near and dear to my heart because it is founded and run by my aunt and uncle, Dusty and Corinne Cooper.
IsleGo Missions is a unique, team-led organization with a deep love for the people with whom they work and serve. It began as a means to better connect short term mission teams relationally to those they were serving.
So often, teams of students and adults head on missions trips where they work hard at building homes, churches, hospitals and more. But many times, a key component is missing: that of building relationships.
IsleGo Missions’ purpose and reason for existence is to connect the Church of the USA with the Church everywhere else.
Says Dusty, “National pastors and churches can reach their own better than someone from outside but they are usually lacking the training, resources, and encouragement they need to see their God-given vision become reality. Connection with the Church, the Body of Christ, outside their own boundaries meets those needs while simultaneously transforming the American church as well.”
So while the teams they lead to different countries are indeed involved in the construction of buildings, the IsleGo staff member that accompanies them works to ensure that relationships are built first. These relationships are further nourished and grown through the constant communication and help received by the many mission teams that participate.
“We tell our teams they could build a cathedral to rival Notre Dame but, if they fail to build relationships during that week, then they have failed,” Dusty explains. “This is one of the reasons IsleGo, in every country we serve, works with the same established relationships that God is using to transform communities and nations. We are tied into their vision for their people that God has given them to do – We are truly partners with them.”
So where exactly does IsleGo go? Well, to name just a few places, they travel to the Bahamas, Haiti, Trinidad, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Haiti, Cuba and Brazil.
But the impact does not lie soley in the countries in which the serve. The teams of students, from high school to college age, as well as medical missionaries and pastors, young and old, they all go home challenged and encouraged in their faith.
“We emphasize that Christianity is a life of worship. Worship too often today is seen as music that moves emotions, when instead God shows worship to be a lifestyle of proclaiming His “worth-ship” in our lives. Our teams start each day with worship music and prayer as well as end the day that way. In between those events, however, we worship during the day with our work, our giving hope to others, our serving God by serving others. This also allows our team facilitators to build into the team members that what they do on this missionary journey can and should be replicated in their home church and city.” (emphasis mine)
In addition to being an amazing opportunity for growth, and the chance to visit some of the most beautiful areas in all of God’s creation, IsleGo mission trips are fun. Every team is led by IsleGo staff, my aunt and uncle often acting themselves as team leaders.
And they are crazy fun. I’m not just saying that because I’m biased. Dusty is crazy! He loves the islands, he knows the islands and he’s not afraid to have fun in the islands. I’ve even seen video of them swimming with pink dolphins. Pink dolphins! It’s just a fun organziation to travel with…and shouldn’t serving the Lord be fun?
IsleGo Missions does a great job of organizing and facilitating group trips from securing the planes tickets to housing to food and product management. They know how to get a group of people mobilized and ready to serve.
For more information on how you can be involved with IsleGo Missions, visit their website. If anything, you should probably click over just to see the amazing pictures and read the stories of what they’re accomplishing in so many areas.
I leave you with this final, amazing quote from Dusty regarding the heart and philosophy around IsleGo Missions:
“We see life as a journey with a “missions trip” just a missionary journey, but still only part of the life journey. The time spent overseas should be a continuation of the journey we all started when we accepted Christ, a journey that ends at the throne of God with every tongue and tribe and nation in praise of the Lamb.
It is not a “hiccup” or a parentheses in our lives but a vital part of God leading our lives from point A to point B. What He shows us on this missionary journey should become a part of who we are and our service to Him. If this happens, then missions happen wherever we are, home or abroad.”
So…will YOU Go?